I don't go to the dollar store often but occasionally there are things at other stores that I know I could be paying a dollar for if I were at the dollar tree or 99 cent store. Since originally going for Christmas decorations for our dorms freshman year, Holly and I have probably made around one stop a semester. The thing is not everything is at the dollar store, and not everything at the dollar store is really a good deal. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance researched and compiled a list of really great deals at dollar stores which included some of the following:
- Party decorations: balloons, party invitations and decorations are all much less expensive than they would be at party supply-stores or supermarkets. You can also get favors and color coordinated plates, napkins and cutlery for a good price. Holly and I haven’t thrown any parties recently but I’ve definitely gotten the helium balloons for a dollar and bought wrapping paper here also.
- Cleaning supplies: lots of dollar brand cleaners have been tested and apparently work just fine for small jobs. In addition, there are a variety of sponges, rubber gloves and brooms. We have definitely bought laundry detergent and scouring powder here before (both can actually be pretty expensive at normal stores) and both have served their purpose just fine. We might have made the mistake of buying dish detergent here once but it was really watered down and both Holly and I are pretty convinced that Dawn is the way to go. We've also bought a pretty decent broom/dustpan set for $2 here.
- Holiday décor: just as tacky and wonderful or as understated as you want, the dollar store allows you to get your fix for after-holiday prices elsewhere. We’ve gotten cute snowman mugs, blow up reindeer and the like here.
- Kitchen supplies: here you should be a little careful because knives, etc. wouldn’t be a good buy because they seem pretty dull. That said, it’s the perfect place to get and spatula, stirring spoon, etc. The prices are way below other stores and you get the exact same thing from what I can tell. My mom had an extra set of flatware so Holly and I haven’t looked at that at the dollar store, but I haven’t been super impressed when I’ve glanced at it—I’d get it in a set elsewhere. That said, so many things you need to stock a first kitchen can be purchased at the dollar store.